Stephen King and the Usage of Metaphors

When anybody picks up their next book, the most important, and sometimes most difficult concept to achieve is connecting with the reader to leave a lasting impact. Stephen King somehow manages to be prolific, writing many stories primarily focusing on the horror genre, while also connecting with his readers in rather profound ways. Additionally, despite the mysterious elements he utilizes, his stories manage to still contain a sense of realism by relating to readers through the average troubles of everyday life. This process invokes both a sense of nonfiction, while simultaneously provoking your imagination.

Harnessing both Reality and Imagination

Stephen King published his first novel, Carrie, in 1974. It centers around a girl who is bullied at school by her peers and abused at home by her overly devout mother. Throughout the course of the story, it is revealed that she possesses telekinetic abilities that show themselves whenever she feels threatened or distraught. While that part of the story is rather farfetched, the source of it all, is the exact opposite and relatable. Every person at some point in their adolescence feels a sense of not belonging, or being insecure when picked on by kids their age. This delivers a sense of relatability with readers of that age group quite well, giving them a sense of sorrow for Carrie and flashbacks of their own struggles by the time the book ends.

Primarily focusing on horror, King’s protagonists often end the story worse off than they were, or die completely. In the climax of his first best seller, The Shining, Jack Torrance becomes possessed by an evil spirit hell-bent on murder. Considering this, he tells his son Danny to run away, but that he loves him anyway. As tragic as this is, it showcases that no matter what, the fatherly part of his soul and love for his son can never truly vanish. Even in both the most imaginable and tragic of ways, King manages to seamlessly tie in the true struggles and hardships of love and attachment we face every day, adding in a touch of fiction for a bit of excitement and suspense.

His Impact on the Industry

Using a fine ratio of both metaphors and nonfiction to connect with readers is something most authors never even come close to mastering. Most typically will choose the side of either fiction, or nonfiction respectively. The fine line in the middle will usually make a story very unorganized or unbelievable if not executed properly. Connecting with readers on both a critical and personal level is the goal of every author, and he manages to make them reminisce on personal experiences, while making the imagination run off of suspense and thrill. There are hundreds, if not thousands of authors out there, but Stephen King remains as yielding one of the most profound and intriguing writing styles ever witnessed.

Why People Read Horror Fiction?

Horror: ‘an intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust’. Doesn’t exactly sound like the best time ever, right?

But the horror genre is huge. There are thousands, if not millions of people out there who just love to be scared.

But what is it that draws people to horror fiction?

It’s exciting

We all have a fight or flight survival instinct inside us. And adrenaline is what fuels it.

Fear goes hand in hand with adrenaline. Adrenaline rears its head in two situations. When you’re scared. And when you’re excited.

Think about what happens when you get scared. Your heart rate increases. Your palms get sweaty. Your mouth dry. And now think about what happens when you’re about to do something exciting, like go on a rollercoaster. The same thing.

The physical reaction to being scared is literally the same as the physical reaction to being excited. And it makes you feel alive.

Because we all have a weird fascination with the genre 

Just like some people are glued to the workings of real life serial killers and true crime documentaries.

We’re all fascinated by what we can’t understand. We can’t actually relate to stories of murder and post-apocalyptic disaster (or at least hopefully we can’t). And that’s exactly what draws us to them.

We’re breaking out of our own world and exploring the unknown.

To feel

This one sounds a little deep. But horror is one genre that can evoke very strong emotions from us.

While you might read a light romance novel or an autobiography. And be entertained or learn something. You probably won’t experience any strong emotions toward the book.

Horror, on the other hand, encourages feelings of fear, disgust and empathy. All of which have the potential to resonate with the reader. And it turns out, we as humans love to feel things. Good or bad.


I don’t mean to brag. But I’m pretty hardcore when it comes to horror.

I can’t really imagine experiencing real fear at the hands of a book that I know is the product of someone else’s imagination. I can understand them being entertaining. But that’s it. I read other books and feel sadness and empathy for the characters. But I just can’t imagine feeling genuine fear.

I read horror out of curiosity. Can anyone really write something genuinely terrifying? If they can, I want to find that book. Just to know what it feels like.

To test their nerve

Some people are driven to read tales of horror to prove to themselves that they can get through the whole book despite being scared.

If they can, it makes them feel brave for a while. Like they can do anything.


Sometimes, it’s normal to feel bored of your daily routine. Reading is a great form of escapism. And horror is one genre that is definitely not predictable in the slightest.

Why you read horror fiction and what is your favorite book?